Everything You Need to Know About Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid

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You’re going on vacation to Walt Disney World! The only problem? You’re not sure which attractions are right for you and your kiddos and you have questions. Which attractions are too intense for little ones? What rides do I really need a FastPass+ reservation for? What’s the disability access like for certain attractions? We’re answering all those questions and more in our Everything You Need to Know attraction series with today’s focus on Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid at the Magic Kingdom!

What is Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

(c) Disney

Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid is a slow-moving dark ride through scenes telling the story of The Little Mermaid through detailed 3-D sets and audio-animatronics.

Where is Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid is located towards the rear of Fantasyland and behind the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom.

What is the History of Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

When The Little Mermaid debuted in theaters in 1989, it was a massive hit and ushered in a revival of Walt Disney Animation films. Imagineers wanted to create a Little Mermaid dark ride in the ’90s, but their ideas were never realized. Instead, The Little Mermaid’s presence in the parks was relegated to mostly parades, character meets, and the Voyage of The Little Mermaid show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, a computer-generated ride-through of Imagineering’s original plans for a dark ride were included in the 2006 Platinum Edition DVD of The Little Mermaid.

It wasn’t until 2011 that guests were finally able to journey under the sea with The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction which debuted at Disney California Adventure. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom received a nearly twin version of the attraction with the park’s New Fantasyland on December 6, 2012.

What Do You Need to Know About the Queue for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

For those who love details, the queue for the Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid may be more impressive than the attraction itself! The ride appears to be housed inside of Prince Eric’s castle! Seriously, the castle is impressive and looks just like it does in the film. The queue takes guest around the base of the castle, past gorgeous rock work and water features, and into a grotto filled with gadgets, gizmos, and thingamabobs.

(c) Disney

There’s even an interactive game where little crabs gather trash or treasure, as well as an audio-animatronic Scuttle who serves as the narrator for the adventure.

What is the Ride Experience Like for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

(c) Disney

The ride begins with a descent “underwater” meaning the clam shell ride vehicles slowly descend backwards while water effects create the illusion guests are going under the sea. The rest of the ride consists of scenes depicting major musical moments from the film, such as “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” and “Kiss the Girl.”

(c) Disney

The Ursula audio-animatronic for the “Poor Unfortunate Souls” scene is especially impressive! Overall, the ride experience is slow and smooth with no surprises or sudden, jerky movements.

What are the Ride Vehicles Like for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

The ride vehicles are large colorful clam shells which seat 2 adults. Cast Members often allow 2 adults and a small child or 1 adult and 2 small children.

(c) Disney

Guests sit on a hard bench with a tall back and a single pull down safety bar. Guests need to take small step up from a continuous moving walkway.

What Do You Need to Know About Accessibility for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

Guests must transfer to a standard wheelchair to experience this attraction.

What are the Health and Safety Advisories for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

There are no health or safety advisories for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid. This attraction is perfect for families and guests of all ages.

What are the Height Restrictions for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

There are no height restrictions for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid!

Does Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid Offer FastPass+?

Yes, FastPass+ is available for Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid. However, this attraction is not the best use of a FastPass+ reservation as the line moves quickly and is often shorter than other Magic Kingdom attractions.

Does Weather Affect Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

This attraction is completely indoors and not affected by inclement weather. However, those waiting in the outdoor queue will be exposed to the elements.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Experience Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid?

Expect moderate waits most of the day. If you can, ride early in the morning or late at night.

This chart shows you roughly how long you’ll wait for Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid when you visit on a day with a given Magic Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average “peak” wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it’s the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid Wait Times.

Did I answer all of your questions about Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid? Is this attraction at the top of your family’s vacation to-do list? Let us know in the comments.

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

One thought on “Everything You Need to Know About Under the Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid

  • December 31, 2019 at 9:53 am
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    Your comments on the wheelchair accessibility are not actually correct. You do not have to transfer to a standard wheelchair if you’re not in a motorized chair. I went last year with my friend’s daughter, who has cerebral palsy, and she’s in a wheelchair that is not motorized, but it’s bigger overall than a standard wheelchair. They slowed the ride down, lowered the ramp and we wheeled her right up into the clam shell with no problem. Disney has done an amazing job of adding these type of seats to almost all of their conveyor belt rides. The only exception is Haunted Mansion, which would have needed us to transfer her into the Doom Buggy without her chair and she physically couldn’t handle that. I really really wish they would add in an accessible Doom Buggy to everyone could enjoy the ride! C’mon, Imagineers! You can do it!

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